Research on the topic of societal impact has focused on questions of impact measurability and the public perception of research, and less on the question of how researchers themselves assess their societal impact. In the same way that it is important to understand how the public receives research, it is important to better understand how researchers anticipate the public in order to draft effective policies.
We conducted a survey among 499 researchers in Germany on their pathways to societal impact, i.e. their attitudes towards impact policies, their societal goals and use of engagement formats. This survey focuses on the communication and collaboration practices of researchers.
More details and first results can be found in our first publication based on these data: How do researchers approach societal impact?, published at PLOS ONE.
Dr. Benedikt Fecher (HIIG), Head of Research Programme Knowledge & Society at Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG).
Prof. Dr. Marcel Hebing, Professor of Data Science at Digital Business University of Applied Sciences (DBU) and Founder of Impact Distillery.
Instrument and data
- Questionnaire: Digital Science and Knowledge Transfer (EN, 2020)
- Questionnaire: Digital Science and Knowledge Transfer (DE, 2020)
- Dataset: Digital Science and Knowledge Transfer (full responses, German participants, excluding open questions)
The data are now available on Kaggle: https://www.kaggle.com/mhebing/digital-science-survey-2020/
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the UK's system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. In the design of the questionnaire we reused results from a qualitative coding of the REF Impact Case Studies, conducted by Natalya Sokolovska, Sascha Schönig, Elias Koch, Nicole Bosse and Benedikt Fecher at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society and as part of the BMBF-funded project IMPaQT.
The data underlying the coding can be found on the webpage of The Higher Education Funding Council for England (https://impact.ref.ac.uk/casestudies/). The coding of the project team at HIIG can be found here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Mp4_t7qFhXbYqSwrDbPPmPzIydXqBrgO?usp=sharing
The coding of the REF Impact Case Studies was originally carried out as part of a qualitative study with students. In the survey, we use the main categories Effects and Formats to construct the questions on impact goals (Effects) and formats.